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Running has a bad reputation. Many people start their running regime in high hopes, only to quit after a few days, overworked and underwhelmed. Running requires a lot more than just finding a clear path to sprint on; it requires patience, diligence, an understanding of your own body, and good running shoes. When done right, running is an enjoyable workout with numerous benefits that is easy to do. So for all the beginners who are determined to start running, and to those who want to give it another go, here are 6 tips on how to get your run on.
1. Get Proper Support
Only shoes that are specially designed for running should be worn when running. Running shoes are specifically made to prevent injury, handle impact, support and contour with your feet, and be both flexible and breathable. To find your perfect pair, try shopping at a sports specialty store, with the assistance of a sales associate. A proper sports bras is also a necessity. A good sports bra should be comfortable, supportive, and should be made out of a moisture-wicking fabric. It should also have a wide under support band that does not ride up or is loose, comfortable shoulder bands that don’t dig into the shoulders, and snug fitting cups that don’t cause any overspill or leave any extra room.
2. Start Slow
Starting too fast is why most people become discouraged. There is no reason to try to sprint a mile on your first try. Odds are you won’t be able to. Running starts with walking and jogging. Easing yourself into your workout should be your first goal. Try jogging for short periods, about 20 minutes to a half hour about 3 to 4 times a week, and speed walking when you feel you need to take a breath. Everyone moves at a different pace, some people can start with jogging and others with walking. Both are fine. To know what pace is best for you, start with the Talk Test. If you are able to hold a conversation while running at a certain pace, it means that you are going at a safe intensity. The key is to know what is best for your body. Once you start to feel comfortable, you’ll adjust your speed and distance accordingly.
3. Listen to Your Body
People tend to take the phrase ‘No pain no gain’ out of context. Running can cause injuries in your knees, hamstrings, feet, and other parts of your body that are regularly under stress. Most of these injuries are caused by over-exercising. Your body knows when it needs a rest. If you are feeling pain in a certain area or are exceedingly tired and sore, it’s a sign to take a break. Your body needs time to recuperate, and taking break days are essential. There is no gain through pain, but there is certainly gain in rest and relaxation. If, when running you feel a constant pain in your body, stop running and consult a doctor.
4. Stay Hydrated
When exercising, your body is in constant need of fluids, before, during, and after. Drinking water while active helps regulate your body’s temperature, aids digestion, keeps joints lubricated, and prevents cramping, dizziness, fatigue and dehydration. The amount of water that should be consumed on a daily basis differs based on the person, but according to the American Council on Exercise [Link http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/fitness-fact-article/173/healthy-hydration/ ] the average amount of water consumption should be:
17-20 ounces (or an average sized bottle) of water two to three hours before the start of exercise.
8 ounces (or one cup) of fluid 20 to 30 minutes prior to exercise or during warm-up.
7-10 ounces of fluid every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise.
an additional 8 ounces of fluid within 30 minutes after exercising.
16-24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost after exercise.
5. Eat Healthy
There’s no point in ruining your workout with an unhealthy diet! When you’re running, you’re burning a lot of calories and energy, so naturally, you’re going to get hungry. Healthy, natural foods that are high in nutrients and protein are essential. Avoid fad diets and instead, focus on adjusting your normal day to day diet. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables, eating more unprocessed foods made from fresh ingredients, and eating sweets and processed foods in moderation are all ways to become more healthy without sacrificing any important food groups.
6. Give Yourself a Goal
Motivation is key when running. Whatever your reason for running are, whether they be for health or for fun, give yourself small goals to accomplish in order to keep yourself motivated. One way to keep up motivation is by participating in run/walk events such as the East Brooklyn 5K [link : http://eastbrooklyn5k.com/ ]. Running events allow you to train toward an objective, as well as surround yourself with people with similar goals. Motivation is what keeps us from giving up, so whether your goal is to speed walk everyday or to run a marathon, remember that as long as it’s special to you, it will keep you going.
– Written by Nikkia Rivera of Jones Innovative Group